Budget HTPC Suggestions (1 Viewer)


Portal Member
December 10, 2005

I've been trialling MediaPortal on my desktop and I'm happy enough to buy a PC just to run this for my TV.

However I'm on a reasonably tight budget of as little as possible (thinking maybe £120 to spend).

For this I'm looking to get a new motherboard with this kind of stuff:
- AGP slot and some PCI slots
- Supports standard DDR ram. I have 384Mb of DDR not sure what spec it is that's made up of 1x 256 and 1x 128 sticks.
- Has onboard 5.1 surround sound preferable with minijacks out and a SPDIF optical out for future use.
- Supports a Socket A 'AXDA1700DUT3C' AMD processor which I have lying around (ebuyer order code 29002).
- Preferably several USBs, onboard LAN and possibly modem slot for caller id use.
- Serial and parallel if possible for LCD and some circuitry I want to hook up to a serial port.

I'm also looking for a good graphics card. I'm thinking of a Radeon 9550 or something which are priced about £40 and seem decent with 256mb ram (what I'm running on my main PC at the moment).

Finally, a suggestion for a good case. Doesn't need to be a specailist HTPC 'stealthy' case. Just a decent desktop case with enough room that's quiet and cheap (not wanting to spend more than £50).

I already have the RAM, DVDROM, Harddrive, Nova-T tuner, PSU etc.

Any suggestions on what to buy thats MP compatible?



Portal Pro
April 22, 2005
Home Country
Netherlands Netherlands
Hi computer,

Considering the budget, I would go for a AMD Sempron64 processor because the power consuption and price is low.

Do not buy the processor in Boxed version, but buy a third party cooler like the "artic freezer 64" for around $17.-, the difference in noiseproduction is very large and the "non boxed" version is cheaper, almost compensating the price for the cooler.

At this moment there are nice Socket 754 motherboards based on the ATI Radeon XPRESS 200, including a AMD Sempron-64 2600 processor for under €150,- (EURO). They have onboard video (supporting directX9) including onboard S-video out. The VGA port can easily be converted into a RGB-Scart out using a special cable and the powerstrip tool.

Be carefull to pick the right one, because there are 4 versions where some lacks the s-video.

It includes a PCI-E 16x socket, so you can alway upgrade to a more serious Graphic card (the onboard will do fine for Multimedia stuff). Furthermore all the extra stuff you will like (Plenty of USB, Firewire, s-ATA).

I already have seen them used in HTPCs in shops.

About the case: whatever you choise, be sure you have Firewire, USB and audio connectors at the front panel. They are quite handy.

Success with you build.



Portal Member
December 10, 2005

I've been having a rethink and I've come up with the following:

- Foxconn 748K7AA Motherboard with Sempron 2400 processor (099153*)
- 512Mb Kingston DDR PC3200 RAM (049294*)
- Seagate 200Gb 7200rpm 8Mb cache IDE Harddrive for recordings (059736*)
- WD 20Gb 5200rpm drive (boot drive) **
- Hightech Radeon 9550SE 128MB DDR 64Bit AGPx8 TV-Out DVI-I Retail Box (063005*)
- Hauppauge Win Nova-T DVB 90002 card **
- 5.1 creative soundblaster for surround sound **
- LG DVD-RW drive**
- Generic case and PSU (for now)**

* ebuyer.co.uk codes
** Stuff I already own

Will this be powerful enough to run Mediaportal and let me record stuff, watch whilst recording, DVDs, etc?

Anyone make any comments on this and they will be gratefully recieved. I hope to order this stuff tomorrow or tonight.


I also might be interested in adding a 2nd DVB Hauppauge 90002 card at some point. Is this possible so I can record two things at once, and would this spec support that satisfactorally?

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